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Off The Editor’s Desk – 8-24-2016

License plates

I spend a lot of time on the road traveling about, some for business, other times just to visit. Over the last couple of weeks I have spent seven days at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul helping getting the Newspaper Museum ready for this year’s Minnesota State Fair.

I think that this is the twenty or twenty-first year that I have been involved with the museum at the state fair. Until three years go, the museum was located on the west side of the grounds in Heritage Square.

That entire area was rebuilt into what is called the West Side Market. The fair moved the museum into the 4-H building on the east side near what was once Machinery Hill. The museum is a working museum, showing how a weekly newspaper was printed back in the 1930’s. We have operating Linotypes (one of which, came from Glenwood City); an old, two page newspaper press, folder and job printing department. To answer questions about newspapers, there is a working editor on staff to visit with fair goers. It is estimated that some 20,000 people go through the museum annually at the fair.

Several new pieces of signage have been installed at the museum to explain the operation of the machine and newspaper’s roll in history. About 70 volunteers, who work in six-hour shifts, staff the museum to keep it a working newspaper office. If you get to the fair, stop in and visit. The best part is that it is free. The fair starts Thursday and runs until Labor Day.

Back to my original thought, that was of license plates that started this piece. I have noticed as I drive around the countryside, many of you are driving with expired or near expired tags on your license plate. I have also noticed the many personalized, including one that caught my eye last Friday, while I was traveling on County Highway G and Highway 63.

The plate was on a bright red Mustang, and as it drove away I caught the message on the plate, which read: I8A CHEV.

I would also like to comment on the weather, especially all the rain that we have been receiving this summer. Crops in the field, the trees and any other growing plants are very green and lush. I have never seen bean fields with such big plants.

It made me think, that if we get as much snow this coming winter, as rain has fallen this summer, you better get prepared. Buy that new snow shovel or power blower now, and don’t forget to stock up on ice melt or sand and maybe a set of snow tires for your vehicle. But, thinking about that, when was the last time anyone changed from summer tires to winter tires? Not since the front wheel drive become popular.

Thanks for reading!     ~Carlton